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Great beer deserves to be treated well, and that means pouring it into the correct glass. But that could be more complicated than you might think. There are a lot of beer glasses out there to choose from — almost as many as there are beers.
But once you know which glass you need, it makes the beer-drinking experience so much better. If you need a little help navigating the world of beer glassage, we're here to help.
There are eight main glass types to look out for. We've broken them all down for you, and have also explained which beers they accommodate best. And if you really like them, we'll even tell you where you can find them. So let's take a look:
The most common beer glass, an American pint glass holds 16 ounces of beer. Some bars may also use the British Imperial pint glass, which features a ridge just below the mouth and can serve up to 20 ounces of beer. Most bars and pubs are teeming with these conical glasses and you'll likely get whatever draft beer you order in a pint. These glasses are well-suited to a wide variety of beers, including stouts, lagers, and ales with low to average alcohol by volume (sessionable ales, as well).
Find Pint Glasses:
Sur La Table British Pub Pint Glass, $5.95
Crate & Barrel Pint Tumbler with Crown, $3.95
Williams-Sonoma Pint Glasses, Set of four, $51.95
A taller and thinner glass than the pint, the pilsner glass generally carries a little less beer than a pint glass — about 12ounces. It's tapered and trumpets out at the mouth, standing on a flat but broad base. They are intended specifically for (you guessed it) a pilsner but also work well with other lighter beers, like lagers and witbier. The design supports the effervescence of a light beer while allowing it to maintain a fluffy head.
Find Pilsner Glasses:
Libbey Flare Beer Pilsner Glass, $3.99
Target Bormioli Rocco Palladio Pilsner Glas, Set of six, $24.99
Williams-Sonoma Pilsner Glasses, Set of four, $51.95
Steins are found in more traditional settings, for the most part. They're often associated with age-old events, such as Oktoberfest. The term actually refers to classic beer mugs made from stoneware, pewter, earthenware, or porcelain and often feature decorative and ornamental designs. They range in size from half litre to full litre and might even feature an attached lid. While they accommodate a wide variety of ales, these are best suited to traditional (and often German) styles, like Oktoberfest, Rauchbier, or Witbier.
Find Beer Steins:
Etsy Porcelain German Beer Stein with Pewter Lid, $60
OktoberfestHause Zoeller & Born Deutschland Eagle Crest Beer, $93.99
Thomas Dale Company Artina Pewter Beer Stein, $168.50
It sounds like something from which you'd sip brandy but a snifter is also an effective beer glass. A short stem supports a bowl that tapers at the mouth — a design that captures intense aromas, such as those you'd detect from strong and high-alcohol ales. Snifter sizes range but most clock in between 6 and 8 ounces. These are perfect glasses for sipping a barleywine, a Belgian Strong Ale, or any number of strong ales. Pro tip: swirl the beer in the bottom of the glass to release the delicious aromas.
True Beer Snifter Beer Glass, Set of two, $16.95
Amazon.com Delirium Tremens Belgian Beer Snifter Glass, $9.55
Brookstone Belgian Beer Glass, Set of four, $59.95
Immediately recognizable, this stemmed glass is shaped like a tulip with a flared top rising from a bulbous body. Tulips come in any number of sizes between 12 and 20 ounces. They're perfect for serving French- and Belgian-style ales, like Abbey Tripel, Saison, or Biere de Garde, beers that tend to have a frothy head. The curvy design lets the beer breathe and release its aromas while cultivating a pretty white head.
BevMo Beer Tulip Glass, $8.99
True Beer Tulip Beer Glass, Set of two, $14.95
Bloomingdale's Spiegelau Belgium Stemmed Pilsner, Set of two, $24.99
Often mistaken for pilsner glasses, a weizen glass is tall and thin but while a pilsner glass tapers evenly at the top, the weizen rounds out toward the middle. Containing about 17 ounces of beer, the glass is designed specifically for wheat beers, which typically have thick heads that need room to fluff out. The glass curves also bring out the unique aromas of a wheat beer, such as banana and clove. And since the purpose of this glass is to maintain a head on a wheat beer, we recommend avoiding any fruit garnishes (like orange or lemon wedges) that would dissolve that head with citric acids.
Find Weizen Glasses:
True Beer Jewel Wheat Beer Glass, $8.95
Libbey Midtown Beer Glass, Set of four, $14.99
Amazon.com Spiegelau Beer Classics Wheat Beer Glass, Set of two, $24.83
It may sound like something someone would use on Game of Thrones, but this actually is a handy glass to have for many styles of beer. The large, bowl-shaped glass with a long stem is perfect for Belgian ales, German bocks, or other big beers. A delicate goblet may even be adorned with a gold or silver finish. Similar to a goblet, a chalice is a heavier, more sturdy stemmed glass, sometimes with etching at the bottom of the bowl.
World Market Schooner Beer Glass, Set of two, $11.98
Goblet Beer Glass, Set of two, $12.95
Wasserstrom Anchor Hocking Weiss Goblet Glass, $76.44
This tall and completely cylindrical glass has a clean design patterned for a Kölsch style beer. It usually serves between 7 and 12 ounces of beer and can stand as high as 6 inches. While it's crafted specifically for a Kölsch, it's also a good option for other delicate brews, like Altbier and Gose, since it helps amplify the malt and hop notes.
Amazon.com Stange Kolsch German Beer Glass, $6.95
True Beer Stange Beer Glass, Set of two, $9.95
Bonanza Reissdorf Kolsch Beer Glass, $16.46
Beer glasses come in all shapes and sizes. Many styles of beer glasses are unique to style of beer and even to the brewery (this is common of Belgian beers). Each type of glass is crafted to help form ans sustain a nice head of foam on the beer. A nice head helps keep all that flavor from escaping before you have a chance to enjoy it.
While there are many different types of beer glasses, you really only need to have one maybe two on your home bar. Of course, if you’re really into beer, go crazy (like us) and collect as many beer glasses as you can. The most common beer glasses:
- Pint Glass – Comes in 16 ounce and 20 ounce versions. These glasses have a wide mouth and taper sightly towards the bottom. These work for many beer types, lagers, stouts, ales and porters.
- Mug or Stein – These are large, 20 ounces or more, wide vessels with a handle (for swinging it around while singing drinking songs). They can be made from glass, pewter or ceramic. Steins are usually fancier than a mug, ofter decorated with amazing designs and often a lid. Mugs are great for most types of beer, and lots of it.
- Pilsner – You find these in many bars and restaurants as Americans drink a lot of lagers. These 12 ounce glasses are wide mouthed which tapers down to a foot. Server lagers and pilsners in these glasses.
Other less common beer glasses include Goblets, Tulips, Flutes, Snifters, Stanges and the never to be toyed with, Boot.
Beer Glass Chart
Generally used to serve wheat beer, these glasses are often mistaken for Pilsner glasses, but they actually have a curve to them whereas Pilsner glasses have straight, angled sides.
They are a little taller than a typical pint glass, and the wider top works to both provide room for the typical fully wheat beer head and also allow some of the aroma to escape.
While it’s popular for some bars and restaurants to stick a piece of fruit on the rim of this glass to complement the beer’s flavor, it’s important to be aware that doing so will can destroy the foam head of your beer, so you will want to remove the fruit right away if you want your beer to keep its foamy head.
Do I even need a glass?
If you’re headed to the beach or going camping or popping a Miller High Life at a backyard barbecue, no, you don’t need to bring along your fancy stemmed glassware. But pouring your beer into a glass does objectively allow you to better appreciate it. (The 14-ounce Teku is perfectly equipped to hold the contents of a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer.) You won’t be able to admire the tangerine hue of a hazy IPA through aluminum, and good luck trying to huff its juicy aroma through the mouth of the can. Drinking a great craft beer from a can is like when you hear the song of the summer blasting so loudly from a car across the street that you can hum along even though its windows are up. It’s still a banger, but wouldn’t you rather be in that car? (Don’t drink and drive.)
How To Pick The Best Type of Beer Glass
It&rsquos not always easy to find the right beer glassware for you. Luckily, we&rsquove got all the things you need to help you find the proper glassware for you. You only have to take note of these three things, and you&rsquoll be closer to the one that&rsquos right for you.
Here is how to pick the best type of beer glass:
1. What Kind Of Drink Do You Like?
To find the right beer glassware for you, you need to know what kind of drink you like. There&rsquos a beer mug that&rsquos right for every type of drink. There&rsquos a style that&rsquos right for whatever it is you desire. Make sure you choose accordingly.
2. What Aspect Of A Drink Do You Care About Most?
via: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto
There are more types of beer glasses, and there are many kinds of drinks. There&rsquos the taste, aroma, name it. If you care about a specific aspect, there&rsquos a right one for that.
3. Will You Enjoy It?
Aromatic beer, tops of beers, and other aspects of the drink are essential. The more you feel these, the more you enjoy your drink. So when deciding on what glassware to have and use, make sure you&rsquoll have one that you want the most!
Choosing the Right Beer Glass Types for Your Homebrew
Does it matter which type of beer glass you serve your beer in? Well, often times, no – no one wants to be a snob – but once in a while you want to get the full effect of your brew. This is where the different beer glass types come into play.
Proper beer glassware enhances the positive aspects of your homebrew, with different types of beer glasses highlighting different qualities.
Try this: take a very fragrant beer like an IPA or barrel-aged stout and pour some of it into a regular pint glass and some into a tulip or wine glass. Smell the two and compare the aromas – you’ll probably notice a significant difference. This experiment also works with wine and liquor.
So what are some of the different beer glass types and their uses? Below we’ve put together a somewhat comprehensive list of the glasses you’ll run across when drinking your brews. This is a menagerie of glasses that you may want to consider having on hand when serving you your own homebrews.
Goblet – Ideal for Belgian ales and Berliner weiss, the goblet features a wide mouth for easy access to the beer’s complex flavors and a structure that supports head retention.
Flute – A flute is a narrow beer glass that tapers towards the bottom. The shape gives the viewer a good look at carbonation and helps release the pleasing aromas of gueze, lambic, swarzbier, and Vienna lager.
Pilsner – The pilsner glass is similar to the flute, but it has a wider mouth. The change in shape showcases color, supports head, and encourages aromatics of – not surprisingly – pilsners, but also blonde ales, bocks, and witbier.
Pint Glass – Of all the beer glass types, this is the all-around go-to glass. It is versatile as it is common and is ideal for many of your favorite beers, including amber ale, altbier, English bitter, brown ale, IPA, porter, and pumpkin beer.
Snifter – The snifter, just like what you would use for brandy or cognac, is a smaller version of a goblet with a lip that turns inward, capturing desirable aromatics. Snifters are smaller than most other glasses, making them a good fit when drinking higher gravity beers. Use a snifter when enjoying barley wine, Belgian dark strong ale, double IPAs, imperial stouts, and tripels.
Stange – A stange is a relatively narrow beer glass type with no taper. It concentrates aromas into a narrow channel and gives the drinker a good look at the beer. Stange glasses are appropriate for a number of styles, including altbier, bock, gose, lambic, and rye beer.
Stein – In German, “stein” means stone. For years prior to the widespread use of glass, these large mugs were made of stone. Go to Germany today and ask for a “Mass stein” – they’ll give you a full liter of suds. Steins work great for Oktoberfestbier.
Tulip – The tulip is on of the great all-around beer glass types for evaluating your homebrew, regardless of style. The glass’s shape gives a good sense of color, enhances aromas, and holds a big head. The tulip works especially well for saisons and other Belgian styles.
Weizen Glass – The weizen glass is designed for wheat beers. Its size allows for a large serving of the refreshing beer and a big, wheaty head while also helping to enhance aromas. Use a Weizen glass for all types of wheat beer.
So there you have it, the different beer glass types and their uses! Don’t get too hung up on choosing the appropriate glassware – and definitely don’t shame other people for using the “incorrect” beer glass. The most important thing is to always appreciate the beer!
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.
Whether you&rsquore a craft beer aficionado, a light lager lover, or a German beer guzzler, we&rsquove got the beer glasses you need to enjoy your favorite suds.
Shop top quality beer mugs, pint glasses, pilsner glassware, beer boots, and collectible sets, all of which make great gifts. For the brand loyal, shop branded beer glasses featuring your favorite names like Guinness, Stella Artois, and Rogue. Add a custom touch with personalized beer glasses that can be engraved or monogrammed in your choice of style.
Keep your beer glasses fresh and free of impurities by following our guide to beer clean glassware.
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A Boston Shaker
Ever notice bartenders behind the stick shaking two cocktails at once? It’s certainly a skill to aspire to. For the home mixologist, one shaker ought to do the trick. The two-part shaker, like what’s often used in craft-cocktail bars, is as easy to use as it is to clean. Simply employ the larger half to mix together the ingredients, add ice and put on the smaller half at an angle, giving it a good smack to make sure it doesn’t fly off while you’re shaking. That’s a mess no one wants to clean up. Buy it here.
Does the Shape of Your Beer Glass Really Matter? – The Experiment You Can Try at Home
Don`t believe that using the proper glass could actually affect the taste of your beer? Try the glass experiment yourself or with a bunch of friends and see.
By The Beer Community on Oct. 06, 2017
Does the Beer Glass Shape Actually Matter?
Read our article Serving The Perfect Beer: Temperature, Pour, and Glassware and still don’t believe in the importance of the proper beer glass for your beer. Well, we aren’t the only ones who believe in it.
The Beeroness who we adore put out a fabulous article along with an equally delicious recipe called Coq au Ale: Drunk French Chicken + A Case for Proper Glassware.
Besides the delicious recipe she also tells the story of her tasting experience at a brewery that made her realize the importance of the proper beer glass:
“I’m given a Spiegelau stout glass, filled with, well, a stout. I’m also given a shaker pint, filled also with a stout. “Taste the shaker pint,” we’re all instructed and we comply. It’s good. It’s a great stout and I like it. “Now, taste the beer in the stout glass.” It’s bigger. The flavors are more pronounced and the carbonation is more even, it has a better head that has survived the trip from the tap-room far better than the first beer. These aren’t the same beer, I can tell. The second is a much better beer with bolder flavors. Then comes the bombshell that has firmly convinced me that glassware matters as much as beer storage, “It’s the same beer. It’s a Shakespeare Stout, you can try the experiment again in the tap-room if you don’t believe me.” He’s right. It’s such a pronounced difference that it tastes like a different beer.”
Why does using proper glassware matter?
Using the proper glass not only opens up the flavours and helps hold the frothy white foam, but it also directs your nose exactly to where it should be to smell the beautiful aromas wafting from your beer which again heightens your beer drinking experience.
The Beer Glassware Experiment
Get a few friends together and have everyone bring different glasses. You can assign each person a different type of glass or keep it open. If you can try to include a classic beer mug, a shaker pint, a snifter, a tulip glass, a tumbler, a coffee mug and any other type of interesting beverage glass you and your friends can come up with.
Get a variety of beers from a variety of different styles. Again you can assign these to different friends or make sure you have them on hand yourself. You can also suggest friends bring their favourite beers that they might want to test this hypothesis on once and for all. Before you begin pouring make sure you use the correct glass in each experiment and then the wrong glass. For more details on proper beer glasses based on style also check out our Beer Styles 201 articles.
Pour half a bottle in each glass and begin. You can also make it fun and have everyone mark down their answers rather than doing it out loud. Then compare notes at the end. Get creative with these ideas for How to Have a Beer Tasting.
HAVE FUN, but be responsible and make sure everyone drinks safely and gets home safely.
This Foto Flagon is a beautiful beer glass touched by the hands of amazing laser engraving artists. All glasses are engraved by artists, who extracts your groomsmen out of the pictures you send him and engraves it on the glass. The beer mugs hold 16 ounces of your groomsmen's favorite beverage.